PEORA (HOI) - Recently, restaurants have been experiencing staffing shortages, even forcing some to cut back on hours, but that isn't stopping one Peoria native from living out his dreams.
Jeremy Sargent was born and raised in Peoria. He moved out to California a couple of years ago for a job, where he met a business partner and talked about opening a restaurant.
"During the construction and getting everything going, COVID hit," Sargent said.
Operation of the California shop halted, but eventually opened up. However, Sargent says he and his family had to move back home to Peoria.
"Once we got back here, he just kept telling me 'Man, just go ahead and get a spot, keeping going while the iron's hot," Sargent said.
So, Sargent found a home for The Fry Spot on Prospect Road, and started working with his brother-in-law to make it happen.
He says, growing up in Peoria, he knows what the River City needs, and what type of food will do well here.
"I was always ahead of the curve. I think that was always one of my strong points of being a chef. I kind of traveled enough, being in the military, I saw concepts of things that weren't here, and I kept trying to bring it here," Sargent said.
He is confident in the fry spot, even though he face struggles along the way. Sargent says it has been tough finding employees.
"Employee wise yes, but since I'm grounded here I had a lot of friends and family that were willing to help out," Sargent said.
Despite some difficulties, The Fry Spot is ready to make the community feel like family.
"For me, it's a blessing. Just to bring something back home, to give back. Because when I was growing up, it was mom and pops that made us feel at home when you walk through the door," General Manager and brother-in-law to Sargent, Arthur Carter said.
"I'm living proof that, you're not a product of your environment. You can always become bigger and better. Don't let anybody crush your dreams or tell you anything different," Sargent said.
The Fry Spot will host its grand opening Wednesday, May 26. It will be open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The restaurant is located at 3127 N Prospect Rd, Peoria.
Guest will be asked to wear masks and maintain social distancing.